2017 Domaine Guillemot-Michel Vire-Clesse Quintaine

Year: 2017
Appellation: Macon
Country: France
Wine Advocate: 93+
Decanter: 92
White Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 13.0%
Price :
$34.95

"The 2017 Viré-Clessé Quintaine is showing beautifully, unfurling in the glass with a refined bouquet of white peach, green orchard fruit, honeycomb and spring flowers. On the palate, it's medium to full-bodied, satiny and lively, with lively acids, promising structuring dry extract and a long, delicately honeyed finish. From vines that have been biodynamically farmed since 1991, this cuvée always attains a pH of 3.2 or lower, even in the warmest vintage. While it is always approachable, to my palate, this bottling is at its best with six to eight years of bottle age.

As I wrote last year, this seven-hectare estate in the hamlet of Quintaine is one of the best producers in the Mâconnais and deserves to be much better known. Pierrette Guillemot's father was one of the founders of the Viré-Clessé cooperative, but she and Marc elected to quit in 1985, converting first to organic and then, in 1991, to biodynamic farming. In 2013, their daughter Sophie joined the team, followed by her brother Gautier. All the domaine's holdings are planted with massal selections of Chardonnay, with the oldest vines dating back to 1918. Like their neighbors the Thevenets, the Guillemots harvest ripe grapes, fermenting and maturing the wines on the lees at their own pace. Botrytis, a relatively common occurrence due to Quintaine's humid mesoclimate, is embraced. These are honeyed, concentrated wines that are imbued with remarkable concentration and energy and develop beautifully in the cellar; their strong personality is a world away from the insipid and ephemeral whites that shape many consumers' perceptions of the region, but that is precisely why they merit attention. Anyone visiting the domaine can't fail to be struck by the meticulousness that the Guillemot family bring to all their endeavors—whether it's their vegetable garden, their immaculately restored farmhouse-winery, or their wines. But of course, it isn't necessary to visit-you can taste the results in the glass." (WA)

"Gautier Roussille is among the leading young talents in the Mâconnais. This cement-fermented and aged Chardonnay is a blend from 6.2ha. It's fresh and perfumed, with lime blossom notes that are almost reminiscent of a Clare Valley Riesling. It also shows tangy acidity and impressive palate length. Great value too. Drinking Window 2019 - 2023. -Tim Atkin MW" (DM)

Winery Notes:
As I wrote last year, this seven-hectare estate in the hamlet of Quintaine is one of the best producers in the Mâconnais and deserves to be much better known. Pierrette Guillemot's father was one of the founders of the Viré-Clessé cooperative, but she and Marc elected to quit in 1985, converting first to organic and then, in 1991, to biodynamic farming. In 2013, their daughter Sophie joined the team, followed by her brother Gautier. All the domaine's holdings are planted with massal selections of Chardonnay, with the oldest vines dating back to 1918. Like their neighbors the Thevenets, the Guillemots harvest ripe grapes, fermenting and maturing the wines on the lees at their own pace. Botrytis, a relatively common occurrence due to Quintaine's humid mesoclimate, is embraced. These are honeyed, concentrated wines that are imbued with remarkable concentration and energy and develop beautifully in the cellar; their strong personality is a world away from the insipid and ephemeral whites that shape many consumers' perceptions of the region, but that is precisely why they merit attention. Anyone visiting the domaine can't fail to be struck by the meticulousness that the Guillemot family bring to all their endeavors—whether it's their vegetable garden, their immaculately restored farmhouse-winery, or their wines. But of course, it isn't necessary to visit—you can taste the results in the glass.

Beautifully expressive, with yellow fruits, orange blossom, smoke & flint. Thick and saline on entry, then seriously deep in the mid-palate, with suggestions of exotic fruits perfectly countered by strong minerality. This wine strikes a perfect balance between sweet and salty elements, and it shows vibrant acidity. It boasts a thickness that few other northern Mâconnais can match.